Thursday, February 24, 2011

11th Annual FAMILIES Centerstage Returns To The Alliance Theatre

Event Combines Family Fun Fair With Performance Of Musical Comedy Favorite HONK!

The Alliance Theatre will hold its 11th Annual Families Centerstage event on Saturday, March 19. An afternoon of family activities is planned including a family fun fair with live performances, arts, crafts, music and two performances of the beloved children’s musical comedy HONK!

“Families Centerstage is a wonderful entrĂ©e to the theatre for younger audiences,” said Philippa Ellis, one of the event’s co-chairs. “On this special day each year, families discover the magic of live theatre together while also experiencing a wonderful afternoon outing at the Alliance Theatre. It’s a very special day.”

In addition to HONK!, activities will include presentations by many Atlanta nonprofits, including Young Audiences, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and Imagine It! Atlanta Children’s Museum.

The event starts with a 1:00 p.m. performance followed by the fun fair from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and the second performance of Honk! at 4:00 p.m.Tickets for FAMILIES Centerstage are $25 for children and $30 35 for adults and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office by calling 404.733.5000 or online at Patrons interested in sponsorship information can contact Lindsey Hardegree at or 404.733.4615.

The event’s presenting sponsor is Cartoon Network. Other co-chairs of the event are Andrea Montag and Patrice Greer.

About HONK!
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved children’s fable The Ugly Duckling, HONK! Is the story of an odd looking baby duck, Ugly, and his quest to find his mother.

With an original book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe and music by George Stiles, the production is directed by Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth Rosemary Newcott.

Honk! will be performed on the Alliance Stage on weekends beginning Saturday, March 5, 2011 with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. and the opening night performance at 7:00 p.m. Performances continue through Sunday, March 20 with weekend matinees scheduled for Saturday, March 12 and Sundays, March 13 and 20 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The second matinee on Saturday, March 19 will be performed at 4:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $20 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office by calling 404.733.5000 or online at Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404-733-4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at the Woodruff Arts Center, corner of Peachtree & 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Student Archers Set Sights on Bullseye at State Tournament

More than 700 students throughout the state will compete Feb. 11 in the 5th annual National Archery in the Schools Georgia State Tournament.

The state’s top student archers from more than 30 elementary, middle and high schools will convene in Perry for the tournament. The state tournament is coordinated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division and is open to all Georgia schools enrolled in the National Archery in the Schools program (NASP).

With shooter numbers topping 700 this year, participation has more than quadrupled since the first year. There were 457 registered shooters last year.

“We are so pleased to see the NASP program and participation in the state tournament grow each year,” says State Shooting Sports Program Manager Jennifer Pittman.  “Archery is a sport that anyone - male or female, small or large - can find success as long as they practice and dedicate time to achieve their goals.  It is a program that teaches concentration, hand-eye coordination, patience and determination - all of which mesh perfectly with school goals.”

State Tournament Division winners and qualifiers will have the opportunity to compete at the NASP National Tournament May 13-14, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky, where nearly 7,000 student archers from more than 35 states are expected to participate. At the state tournament, the highest scoring male and female archer will each win $1,000 college scholarships. Archery equipment and other awards are also given to top individual archers. The top three teams in each division receive plaques and archers are awarded medals.

The state tournament is conducted at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in conjunction with the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Great Outdoors Show.  The Feb. 11 shoot will be held in the Miller Murphy Howard Building next to gate No. 24 (West Gate).

Teams of 16-24 students from each school will compete in three separate divisions: elementary (4th-6th grade), middle (7th-8th grade) and high (9th-12th grade).  Archers will shoot at 10- and 15-meter intervals in seven “flights.” An awards reception will follow completion of the last flight about 6 p.m.

At last year’s tournament, a seventh grade male from Dodge County Middle (Eastman) and a fifth grade girl from Woodlawn Elementary (Chatsworth) each received $1,000 scholarships after winning the top male and female shooter awards. Eleven schools qualified to compete in the NASP National Tournament and six of those schools traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to shoot against more than 6,700 other student archers from around the country. The Woodlawn Elementary School team in Chatsworth also won the Elementary Division title at the NASP World Tournament in Orlando last October.

In addition to the tournament, there will be several activities for participants during the Great Outdoors Show. Admission is free for archers and registered coaches and $8 for observers.  

The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter is located off I-75.  Driving directions can be found at .


NASP is an in-school archery curriculum that meets all education department standards. Only schools that are certified in NASP through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are qualified to compete in the Georgia Tournament. Schools in nearly 80 counties in Georgia are NASP certified.

The program promotes instruction in international-style target archery to improve educational performance and participation in shooting sports.  Research has shown that the program, administered through a minimum two-week course during the school year, improves class attendance and behavior. NASP universal fit bows make it possible for students of all sizes and genders to succeed in archery while raising self-esteem levels and improving hand-eye coordination during physical activity.

NASP is taught in 48 states as well as Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. To date, more than 7 million students have gone through the program.

For more information on NASP in Georgia, recreational shooting sports opportunities or to find a range near you, visit, contact a local WRD Game Management Office or call (770) 918-6416.


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Monday, February 7, 2011

New Report: Kids' Television Programs Contain High Amounts of Tobacco Use

/PRNewswire/ -- A new report published today in the Archives of Pediatrics &Adolescent Medicine shows substantial amounts of tobacco images in television programming most popular with young people who are at the greatest risk of initiating smoking. The study was conducted by Legacy, a national public health organization dedicated to reducing tobacco use in the United States and aimed to quantify teen exposure to smoking on television, given the powerful role that tobacco images in media play in influencing youth to smoke.

"Among young people aged 8 to 18, 30 percent of their media use is spent on watching television(1)," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. "The report shows that nearly 1 million young people were exposed to tobacco images during the analysis, whether it was in an ashtray, on a billboard, or in a character's hands."

Researchers at Legacy reviewed more than 70 episodes of top-rated/prime-time broadcast television shows popular among 12-17 year olds such as Family Guy, Gossip Girl, Heroes and The Simpsons. All of the episodes (representing an estimated 61.5 hours of programming in a single fall season) were rated either TV-PG or TV-14 (2). TV-14 is a more stringent rating with respect to cautioning parents about the content their children see on television.

According to the report:

* The percent of episodes with any tobacco use depictions was highest on the FOX network (44 percent) followed closely by CBS-Warner Brothers, "The CW" (41 percent).
* Forty (40) percent of television episodes reviewed contained at least one depiction of tobacco use; of these depictions, 89 percent were of cigarettes.
* Among episodes rated TV-PG, 50 percent showed one or more incidents of cigarette use, in contrast to 26 percent of TV-14 episodes, the more stringent rating.

A higher proportion of tobacco use was found among programs rated TV-PG as compared with those rated TV-14, indicating that exposure to tobacco depictions may skew toward youth of younger ages, resulting in earlier exposure to this behavior. This may have an impact on teens' decisions to smoke.

Past research confirms a relationship between smoking in television and young people starting to smoke, with the risk for smoking initiation increasing markedly with more hours of television viewing(3). Additionally, smoking images in movies leads to an estimated 180,000 new young smokers each year, prompting public health advocates to ponder (or consider) the impact that smoking on television might have on youth.

"Since movies and television are not mutually exclusive media channels, the body of evidence pertaining to movies is highly relevant to television as well, particularly since most movies are shown on television after airing in cinemas," Healton said.

Legacy recently joined several groups in asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update its TV ratings system so that parents can be warned about depictions of tobacco use. One study has shown that parents are just as concerned about smoking content in media, which is not currently included in television ratings, as they are with alcohol use, profanity or sexual content.

Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the national public health organization helps Americans live longer, healthier lives. Legacy develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation's programs include truth® , a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as having contributed to significant declines in youth smoking; EX® , an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit .

(1) Generation M2 Kaiser Family Study 2010

(2) TV-PG is defined as the following: “Parental Guidance Suggested. This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children." In contrast, TV-14 is defined in the following manner: “Parents Strongly Cautioned: This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age" (34).

(3) Gidwani PP, Sobol A, DeJong W, Perrin JM, Gortmaker SL.(2002). Television Viewing and Initiation of Smoking Among Youth. Pediatrics, 110(3):505-508.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Participants Sought for Youth Birding Competition T-shirt Art Contest

Hey, kids, do you like birds and love to draw or paint? Georgia’s sixth annual Youth Birding Competition is offering a T-shirt Art Contest for resident children and teens. Many famous ornithologists were bird artists when they were young, so perhaps you could be the next John James Audubon, Roger Tory Peterson or David Allen Sibley!

A winner will be picked from each of the following age categories: primary (pre-K-second grade), elementary (third-fifth), middle school (sixth-eighth) and high school. One winner will be awarded the grand prize – their artwork will appear on the 2011 YBC T-shirt and they’ll receive a $100 gift card to Michaels. The three other winners will each receive a $50 Michaels gift card, redeemable for art supplies.

Entering is easy. Participants must draw or paint their favorite Georgia bird on paper or sheet canvas (at least 8-by-10 inches but no larger than 11-by-17 inches). Mail it in a large envelope – flat, not folded – in time to be received by 4 p.m. March 1 to: GA DNR-WRD, YBC T-shirt Art Contest (Attn: Linda May), 2065 US Hwy. 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025.

On a separate piece of paper, gently attached to the back of the artwork, include the participant’s name, school, age, grade level, mailing address, phone number, parent or teacher’s e-mail address and the species name of the bird depicted. The illustrated bird must be a wild species and native to Georgia. Please make sure the bird is the main focus of the artwork, and draw or paint its features as accurately as possible. Also keep in mind that rich colors will show up better on a T-shirt than faint pencil drawings.

Only one entry per person is allowed, and it must be the child’s artwork. Participation in the Youth Birding Competition is encouraged but not required to submit artwork for the T-shirt Art Contest.

Competitors in the birding event can pick up their submissions at the April 17 banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, where select artwork will be displayed and winners announced.

Artwork from children and teens who do not take part in the Youth Birding Competition can either be picked up at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield during normal business hours or returned by mail – but only if a large, self-addressed envelope with four first-class stamps is included with the submission.

The 2011 Youth Birding Competition starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 16, and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 17. Groups may use as much or as little of that time to count as many birds as possible throughout Georgia. Although teams may start birding anywhere in the state, they must turn in their checklists at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center by 5 p.m. Sunday. While judges examine and score checklists, participants will enjoy a live animal show followed by an awards banquet packed with prizes.

For more information on the T-shirt Art Contest, visit, click on the “Get Involved” tab and then the “YBC T-shirt Art Contest” link ( You can also contact art contest coordinator Linda May at (770) 918-6792 or

The same web site includes Youth Birding Competition details, including how to register a team for this exciting event. You can also contact the competition coordinator Tim Keyes at (912) 262-3191 or

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